Wild spiced panforte

Wild spiced panforte

This panforte recipe is sweet, spicy, sticky and delicious. Like most wild recipes, you can experiment with modifying the recipe with any foraged spices you think might work – meaning it will reflect the place you forage from and ingredients you can pick easily. Think roasted dandelion roots for a coffee flavour, dried mugwort, wild fennel seeds and so on.
Because it is so rich and sticky, a small piece with a coffee, or sweet wine is just perfect.

Ingredients to serve 20

  • 240g pitted dates
  • 50g honey (or substitute birch sap syrup)
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • ½ tsp each of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, ground hogweed seeds, and crushed alexanders seeds
  • 250g chopped candied peel
  • 50g blanched almonds
  • 100g toasted hazelnuts
  • 3-4 tbsp plain flour
  • 50ml vin Santo, or sherry
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • Rice paper for lining (optional)

Note: If you exchange the honey for birch sap syrup this recipe becomes vegan!

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 150 C/Gas 2. Line a shallow 25cm round cake tin, or a 20cm square tin, with rice paper.
  2. Mince the dates and put them in a pan with enough water just to cover. Add the honey, brown sugar and all the spices. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, then tip into a bowl. The mixture should be soft and sticky, but not wet.
  3. Add the candied fruit and nuts and mix well, then add the flour and Vin Santo and mix to a sticky mass. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Sprinkle generously with icing sugar and serve cut into thin wedges.

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